Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Structural and socio-cultural barriers to accessing mental healthcare among Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland


Kiselev, Nikolai; Pfaltz, Monique; Haas, Florence; Schick, Matthis; Kappen, Marie; Sijbrandij, Marit; De Graaff, Anne M; Bird, Martha; Hansen, Pernille; Ventevogel, Peter; Fuhr, Daniela C; Schnyder, Ulrich; Morina, Naser (2020). Structural and socio-cultural barriers to accessing mental healthcare among Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 11(1):1717825.

Abstract

Background: Due to their experiences of major stressful life events, including post-displacement stressors, refugees and asylum seekers are vulnerable to developing mental health problems. Yet, despite the availability of specialized mental health services in Western European host countries, refugees and asylum seekers display low mental healthcare utilization. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore structural and socio-cultural barriers to accessing mental healthcare among Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland. Method: In this qualitative study, key-informant (KI) interviews with Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, Swiss healthcare providers and other stakeholders (e.g. refugee coordinators or leaders) were conducted in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Participants were recruited using snowball sampling. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed, and then analysed using thematic analysis, combining deductive and inductive coding. Results: Findings show that Syrian refugees and asylum seekers face multiple structural and socio-cultural barriers, with socio-cultural barriers being perceived as more pronounced. Syrian key informants, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders identified language, gatekeeper-associated problems, lack of resources, lack of awareness, fear of stigma and a mismatch between the local health system and perceived needs of Syrian refugees and asylum seekers as key barriers to accessing care. Conclusions: The results show that for Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland several barriers exist. This is in line with previous findings. A possible solution for the current situation might be to increase the agility of the service system in general and to improve the willingness to embrace innovative paths, rather than adapting mental healthcare services regarding single barriers and needs of a new target population.

Abstract

Background: Due to their experiences of major stressful life events, including post-displacement stressors, refugees and asylum seekers are vulnerable to developing mental health problems. Yet, despite the availability of specialized mental health services in Western European host countries, refugees and asylum seekers display low mental healthcare utilization. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore structural and socio-cultural barriers to accessing mental healthcare among Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland. Method: In this qualitative study, key-informant (KI) interviews with Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, Swiss healthcare providers and other stakeholders (e.g. refugee coordinators or leaders) were conducted in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Participants were recruited using snowball sampling. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed, and then analysed using thematic analysis, combining deductive and inductive coding. Results: Findings show that Syrian refugees and asylum seekers face multiple structural and socio-cultural barriers, with socio-cultural barriers being perceived as more pronounced. Syrian key informants, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders identified language, gatekeeper-associated problems, lack of resources, lack of awareness, fear of stigma and a mismatch between the local health system and perceived needs of Syrian refugees and asylum seekers as key barriers to accessing care. Conclusions: The results show that for Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland several barriers exist. This is in line with previous findings. A possible solution for the current situation might be to increase the agility of the service system in general and to improve the willingness to embrace innovative paths, rather than adapting mental healthcare services regarding single barriers and needs of a new target population.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
7 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

2 downloads since deposited on 14 Dec 2020
2 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Klinik für Konsiliarpsychiatrie und Psychosomatik
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:14 Dec 2020 12:15
Last Modified:06 Feb 2021 03:49
Publisher:Co-Action Publishing
ISSN:2000-8066
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2020.1717825
PubMed ID:32128044

Download

Gold Open Access

Download PDF  'Structural and socio-cultural barriers to accessing mental healthcare among Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 2MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)